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Match Report


Posted Sat 31 Mar 12 at 18:31 PM

Report: Wolves 2 Bolton 3

Bolton Wanderers came from behind and scored three second half goals to seal a memorable victory at Molineux; their third on the trot in the Barclays Premier League.

Despite falling behind on 53 minutes, Owen Coyle's charges were determined and gutsy and duly fought their way back into what was a thoroughly entertaining contest.

First, Mark Davies was sent sprawling in the area allowing for Martin Petrov to convert the resulting spot kick before Marcos Alonso steered home his first goal in English football to turn the game on its head.

Sub Kevin Davies seemingly put the game to bed with his second goal in five days, but Matt Jarvis set up a tense final few minutes.

But much to the delight of the travelling 1,400 Bolton fans their side held on to secure three points and their third consecutive win; a feat last achieved in December 2006.

Marcos Alonso

With Darren Pratley the latest midfielder to be ruled out through injury, Coyle reverted to an attack-minded 4-4-1-1 formation, with Ivan Klasnic retaining a starting berth, this time deployed in behind spearhead striker David Ngog.

Gretar Steinsson aggravated a knee injury in training and as a result missed out. Tim Ream, David Wheater and Martin Petrov all returned to the starting line-up.

The game started at a breakneck tempo, with the home side flying out of the traps and forcing a flurry of corners inside the opening minutes.

Adam Bogdan, whose heroics at White Hart Lane in the midweek cup tie had earned him the man of the match accolade, was again in top form to repel a series of first half chances.

The Hungarian first denied Sylvan Ebanks-Blake from close range before flinging himself to his left to claw away Steven Fletcher's goalbound header.

Up the other end Wanderers' only real sniff of goal came via Petrov. On one occasion the Bulgarian didn't quite catch a volley flush, before in a similar area he looped an effort onto the roof of the net.

Whilst the Molineux men were arguably the better side, frustrations boiled over when skipper Roger Johnson squared up to team-mate Wayne Hennessey on the half-hour mark. Bizarrely that seemed to fire up the home crowd.

Ryo Miyaichi cleared the ball from under his own crossbar following a bullet header from the ever imposing Fletcher, who came even closer with half time looming.

The former Burnley man, who was brought into English football by Wanderers boss Coyle, rattled Bogdan's crossbar after Michael Kightly had sent over a teasing centre.

There was no doubt about it, Wanderers had had their backs to the wall in what had been a frantic opening 45 minutes of football.

Though after the break Bolton set about changing their fortunes in the final third and came within a whisker of opening the scoring via an unlikely source.

Wheater, whose brace against Blackburn a week earlier had helped seal three points, assumed possession on halfway, before releasing Ryo down the right flank. As the Japanese speedster turned on the afterburners and headed down the wing, Wheater continued his dart into the area and almost diverted a swirling cross into Hennessey's far corner.

It was a positive start to the half, though that good work was undone when Wolves broke the deadlock.

Kightly, who had been a threat all afternoon, skipped infield onto his left foot before arrowing a low drive beyond Bogdan's despairing dive.

But Bolton weren't deterred and responded in the best possible manner ten minutes later.

After good hold up play from Ngog, Mark Davies, returning to his old stomping ground for the first time, slalomed around a couple of Wolves defenders in the penalty area before Johnson clumsily lunged in to send the Bolton midfielder sprawling.

The referee briefly paused before pointing to the spot.

Petrov duly dispatched the resulting kick to level the scores, before wheeling away and displaying a message of support for his close friend and fellow Bulgarian Stiliyan Petrov, who just a day earlier had been disagnosed with acute leukaemia.

Petrov then came close to doubling Bolton's tally when his long range effort stung the palms of Hennessey.

Bolton were in the ascendancy. Wheater's header from Petrov's corner kick was cleared off the line and it seemed as if it was only a matter of time.

And that proved to be the case, as Alonso slammed home his first goal in English football on 80 minutes.

The Spanish full-back reacted well to steer in the rebounds after Ngog's header had come back off the crossbar.

It was one-way traffic. Sam Ricketts pulled the ball back for substitute Chris Eagles who failed to keep his shot down from ten or so yards before Nigel Reo-Coker forced Hennessey into a world class save following a sweeping attacking move.

In the end Bolton's pressure bared fruit in the shape of a third.

Kevin Davies, another of those thrown on from the bench, waltzed through the Wolves defence before drilling a low effort across the face of goal and into the bottom corner.

With just six minutes left on the clock, Wolves fans headed for the exits.

Those that had stayed behind would have seen Jarvis pull a goal back for Terry Connor's side to set up a nervy ending.

But ultimately Bolton clung on for three crucial points in what was a repeat scoreline of the previous season's clash between the two sides.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Hennessey, Edwards (Milijas 87), Stearman, Kightly, Ebanks-Blake (Doyle 81), Fletcher, Wards, Johnson, Jarvis, Bassong, Davis (Henry 87) (Unused substitutes: De Vries, Hunt, Berra, Zubar)

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Ricketts, Ream, Wheater, Alonso, Ryo (Eagles 77), Reo-Coker, M Davies, Petrov, Klasnic (K Davies 70), Ngog (Knight 90) (Unused substitutes: Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Sordell, Vela)

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